Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Why Comics are infuriating and you should read them

This little post is at people who do not read comics. The American superhero comic industry is easily one of the oddest mediums, for several reasons. The goal of this is to effectively show why it's a freaking infuriating medium to become a fan of, and why you should do it anyway.

The first small problem lies with team changes. The most common I've run into is when the artist changes, either from issue to issue, or sometimes withing the same one. It's noticeable, off-putting, and occasionally makes it harder to enjoy the comic. The bigger problem lies in the 'betrayals.' So you've got the artist and writer, turning in comic after comic every month, developing subplots and carrying out story arcs. Out of nowhere, the bosses come in and say, "Hey, you're main character dies in the upcoming crossover. Your book is getting cancelled." Sometimes it's not nearly as dramatic. Maybe an important side character dies, or the book is getting cancelled for low sales, or the editors are demanding a dumb plot point (One More Day) or tonal shift. It still hurts. No matter how many times they do this to you, it's still fresh and raw and makes you want to storm their headquarters and bust some heads. That isn't going to change. That is the medium we're dealing with. Doing things like that overall increases sales, and if it ruins a good title, so what.

So why should you like comics then? For almost the exact same reason they're infuriating. While shared universes exist in other mediums, they're rare. Superhero comics ARE a shared universe. This allows for amazing crossovers, and interesting events. (Blackest Night) Not only that, but the ever changing status of the universe allows for growth on established characters, and the birth of interesting new ones. There are several points in Batman and Spiderman's histories where they had grown in very unexpected and intriguing ways. Sure, they were destroyed later, but those comics from that era are still fantastic. Guy Gardner has been developing as a character almost since his inception, though he kinda hit his peak of depth about 5 years ago. The whole idea of Legacy characters have allowed Tim Drake, Jaime Reyes, Cassandra Cain, and Mayday Parker to exist, and be awesome. Sure, they're get screwed over later, but for some time they're there and you love them. Basically, the superhero comic medium is about change, good and bad. Try it out.

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